We are considering EB-5 funding for a project, but want to make sure we do things the right way and learn from past mistakes. What are the key things that USCIS is looking for when it examines project documents? What types of issues have tripped up projects in the past?
To establish an EB-5 project, there are two essential requirements to be satisfied. One is whether the investor substantially meets the capital investment requirement. Another is whether the investment meets the 10-full time job creation requirement. USCIS closely exams the submission to determine that the required capital has been invested or is actively in the processing of being invested. Caution - - funds "in the process of being invested" may not derive from the project in which the investment is made. USCIS also closely examines whether the need for not fewer than 10 full-time jobs will result due to the nature and projected size of the project. Caution - - a comprehensive business plan is a must. Be specific in identifying the tasks each job will perform.
The first step is to retain an experienced EB-5 attorney who has the expertise in giving directions as to how to prepare EB-5 compliant documents for a project. You will not only want to prepare an EB-5 compliant project, but also prepare a project that would be marketable to attract EB-5 investors.
The appropriate information and supporting documentation will be very fact specific from project to project. This would be something your EB-5 team should work on developing with you to ensure all of the key requirements are satisfied when the economic report, business plan, offering documents and project information is put together. What we know from key precedents in this area is that one template does not fit all.
Among many other considerations, job creation, business activities, exit strategies, and infrastructure are all considered. To avoid making mistakes (or repeating past ones), retain experienced EB-5 counsel to prepare and/or review your documentation. This is an area that is tough to be navigated without proper representation.
USCIS will be looking for an all-around solid project with appropriate documentation. Regional center projects require a team of practitioners to assist with the documents. You need a solid business plan, economic analysis, and relevant securities documentation. I also advise that you speak with an EB-5 investment advisor to assist in the review of the project.
Job creation is a touchy subject with USCIS, and in the recent months, USCIS has hired economists to evaluate whether a given project and its business plan supports the projected earnings and number of jobs to be created. There are a number of other factors which need to be evaluated with a qualified EB-5 immigration attorney prior to proceeding.
They want proof that the econometric analysis is accurate. They want to see there is documented proof for the numbers they key into the economic model. The business plan must be detailed, provide explanation of the project, market research to prove that there is a market for the project, grounded projections for income and personnel. No guaranteed returns on investment or refund of capital are allowed.
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